Innovation Perceptions Change

Perceptions regarding who is primarily responsible for innovation have expanded from the confines of the laboratory to include all employees of a company, according to a study of a cross-section of managers and professionals in manufacturing companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Perceptions regarding who is primarily responsible for innovation have expanded from the confines of the laboratory to include all employees of a company, according to a study of a cross-section of managers and professionals in manufacturing companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

More than a third of respondents (37 percent) said they are counting on all employees, not just the head of science and technology, to advance innovation in their companies. Twenty-three percent of respondents felt that innovation is the responsibility of the chief technology officer.

The global study was conducted by Harris Interactive Inc on behalf of Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich. The study involved a telephone survey of executives from a wide range of industries including electronics, construction, beauty and personal care, automotive, textiles, rubber, plastics, paper, and health care.‑ “The results show a trend away from the traditional ‘inside-out’ approach to innovation, which involves creating a new product or solution and then looking for a way to sell it,” says Scott Fuson, global executive director for marketing, sales and customer service at Dow Corning.‑ “Respondents now are turning to an ‘outside-in’ perspective of monitoring the external environment, market needs and customer expectations and then creating products, services and solutions to address those needs.”

“Traditionally, company leaders felt that advancements in science and technology were primarily and almost solely responsible for innovation,” adds Gregg Zank, chief technology officer and executive director of science and technology.‑“This result shows that respondents appreciate the significance of understanding customer needs first and foremost.”

 

YAPFEST Planned

The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA, www.isa.org) will host a special event for young automation professionals at ISA Expo 2006 Oct. 17-19 in Houston. YAPFEST, the Young Automation Professional Festival, will be open only to automation professionals and students aged 30 and under, and will feature networking opportunities with industry executives, food, entertainment, and prizes.

“The young people studying to be in our industry, or just starting out in the field, are our future. We wanted a chance to bring them together, allow them to network with key people in the industry, and give them a sense of solidarity with us,” says ISA President Ken Baker. “This kind of event can bridge the generations, and I’m looking forward to it.”

The event will be held on wednesday, oct. 18 from 11 a.m. Until 2 p.m. In a tent outside of reliant center. 11th hour, a popular local band, will play for the expected crowd of over 300. A drawing for an alienware notebook will be held, and all yapfest attendees will get free attendance to the isa expo 2006 conference sessions for that day. For more information, or to register, visit www.isa.org/yapfest.

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